U.S. Congress

Congresspedia Has a New Home at OpenCongress

Congresspedia, the CMD citizen journalism project that has thrived inside SourceWatch since 2006, is no longer. Its funder the Sunlight Foundation decided to merge Congresspedia into their OpenCongress project. Much of Congresspedia's content will remain in some form inside SourceWatch but CMD's staff of editors will no longer be regularly updating the articles. CMD is proud to have created what quickly became the best and most extensive 'wiki' website on the US Congress. Our development of Congresspedia led directly to the creation of our growing number of other SourceWatch portals on issues including the tobacco industry, the coal industry, climate change, front groups, global corporations, and the nuclear power industry. We wish the website formerly known as Congresspedia well in its new incarnation at OpenCongress.

Orrin Hatch's Drug Problems

"At the same time the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) was paying one of [Senator Orrin G. Hatch's] sons, Scott, to be its lobbyist in Congress," it and its drug company members were making major donations to a nonprofit organization that Senator Hatch helped found and actively supports.

Free Kick for Clothing and Footwear Front Group

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed in the wake of controversy over the manufacturing standards of Chinese toy companies, set new lead limits for toys, clothes and other products which are aimed at children under 12. Associated Press reports that the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Childrenswear -- which it states "represents manufacturers and family business workers" -- is leading the protests against the new standards.

Liberal Lobby Targets Republican Senators on Stimulus Bill

The Financial Times notes that "with precisely zero votes from Republican lawmakers for his $819 billion stimulus package, Barack Obama’s bipartisan aspirations may already be in tatters ...

New Committee Chairs and Caucus Leaders in the 111th Congress

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

With the 111th Congress in full swing (see Conor’s post on freshman members and Donny’s recent work on the first 10 bills in the Senate), we’re starting to see changes announced last year become formalized, such as the selection of committee chairs and ranking members in the House and Senate. With big policy debates on the horizon, you’ll also start to hear more about the caucus leadership.

Fortunately, Congresspedia has you covered. We detailed the leadership changes back in December, but we also have citizen-generated entries on the leadership in the House and Senate. These articles include background information on the various positions and links to profiles of individual senators and representatives.

111th Congress Convenes with 65 Freshmen (Profiles)

The House and Senate both convened their inaugural sessions of the 111th Congress at noon Tuesday with 65 new faces. There were 39 Democrats (plus two non-voting members who caucus with Democrats) and 24 Republicans.

House Approves Automaker Bailout Bill

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

The House approved automaker bailout legislation last night by a 237-to-170 margin. The $14 billion stipulated in the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act would go to help struggling U.S. automakers, and would be provided in the form of bridge loans.

President George W.

Congresspedia Preview: This Week in Congress (Dec. 6 - 12, 2008)

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

The weekend brought news of an upset down south, where indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D) on Saturday was upset in his re-election big by Anh “Joseph” Cao (R). Also, congressional leaders negotiated a compromise with the White House to tap about $15 billion for an emergency loan to U.S.

Wiki the Vote: Winding Down the 2008 Congressional Election

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

While Congress remains in recess (the Senate is in pro forma session), our attention returns to the outstanding congressional races of the 2008 election. At least three races should be decided this week, including a runoff for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, between incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) and Democratic challenger Jim Martin. Voters in two Louisiana House districts will head to the polls on Saturday to choose the representatives. Meanwhile, votes are still being counted in California, Minnesota and Ohio, as one Senate race and two House races remain undecided.

Public Bailout for Private Jets

The heads of the Big Three U.S. automakers (General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford), and the president of the United Auto Workers (UAW) went to Capitol Hill to ask for a $25 billion bailout loan. But they didn't give enough thought to how they got there. Each man flew separately, on private corporate jets, to ask for help from U.S. taxpayers.

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